Story: Sibling Rivalry (22 pages)
Writer(s): Devin Grayson
Pencils: Roger Robinson
Inks: John Floyd
Dick Grayson / Nightwing, Jean Paul Valley / Azrael II, Bruce Wayne / Batman, Aliki Marceau and Margot Marceau / Double Dare, Penguin
Double Dare have stolen some jewels from the Penguin, who sends heavily armed henchmen after them. Nightwing is also chasing them to retrieve two million dollars worth of bonds they have stolen from the Wayne Enterprises Orphan Charity, or rather from someone who had stolen that money previously. Batman sends Azrael to help Nightwing, who wasn't aware that the Penguin is after Double Dare too. Nightwing and Azrael follow Double Dare to Penguin, where Double Dare offer Penguin a deal to give the jewels back (never expecting him to agree but counting on Nightwing and Azrael to show up). The Penguin's henchmen start shooting, however Azrael and Nightwing show up, disable the gunmen, and also force Double Dare to give back the bonds. During this and afterwards Azrael and Nightwing talk about their relationship with each other.
Contrasted with that plot is an (unsent) letter to Bruce Dick composed in the aftermath of reading some of Batman's files [see Gotham Knights #??], in which he muses about his relationship to Batman, and his own insecurities. The insights he gained from those files make him reevaluate some of his assumptions and anxieties, assuring him of his place in Batman's life.
- Nightwing reads the files he refers to in his unsent letter to Batman in Gotham Knights #??. [p.8]
- Nightwing as well as Double Dare mention their previous encounter in Blüdhaven; it was in Nightwing #32, Nightwing #33, and Nightwing #34. [p. 7f]
- Dick mentions being hurt by Batman's decision to choose Azrael to stand in for him, that refers to events in the Knightfall storyline, specifically Azrael became Batman in Detective Comics #665 (?).The talk about this with Batman which Dick mentions might be the one in the Prodigal storyline, in Robin Vol. 2 #13. [p. 15]
Dick Grayson Character Details:
- Dick starts the unsent letter to Bruce with "Dear Batman" because "Dear Bruce" feels even weirder to him, he wonders what Batman calls him in his head. [p. 5]
- Nightwing calls Azrael "Az" [p. 11, 20]
- Dick knows at least some French [p. 11] and it was not Batman who taught him. [p. 12]
- In the unsent letter to Batman Dick wonders about words to describe their relationship, and what he means to Bruce. He always hated the term ward. ("Thing is, I don't know how to assure you in WORDS. I Mean there ARE no words. What AM I, Bruce? Your trainee? Your soldier? Your "sidekick"? Your ward? "Ward." I HATE that word. It stopped having any MEANING the minute I turned EIGHTEEN, and I was afraid I would too. Stop having MEANING, I mean, for YOU.") [p. 13]
- Dick feels sometimes like there's a competition between the people around Batman, though he is glad not to be alone in Batman's orbit. [p. 14]
- Dick was hurt by Batman's decision to choose Azrael, and though Batman eventually heard him out, Dick doesn't think Batman understands this. ("You eventually HEARD ME OUT on the issue, but I don't think you ever really GOT how much it HURT me to when you choose Azrael to stand IN for you instead of ME. The only thing I hate more than WEARING that cape and cowl, and imagining a world without you IN it -- is watching someone ELSE do it.") [p. 15]
- Dick used to worry that he didn't factor into Batman's thinking, or that Batman worries he can't take care of himself, but after reading the files it occurred to him that "[...] maybe it's not about that. Maybe you're worrying that you can't take care of me." [p. 17/18]
- Dick says to Azrael that if he had to name three things he'd feel least confident about it would be women, his place in the world, and Batman. [p. 20]
- Nightwing and Azrael both think that Batman doesn't loose confidence. [p. 20]
- Dick thinks Batman would trade everything, including all his current relationships to people close to him, if he could have his parents back, whereas Dick would not. [p. 21/22]
Jean Paul Valley Character Details:
- Azrael didn't know Double Dare before. [p. 8]
- Azrael admits that he thinks Nightwing doesn't like him, that this was obvious from how Nightwing acts around him compared to how Nightwing is with Robin. [p. 10]
- The order insisted that Azrael learned French. [p. 12]
- Azrael envies Nightwing for his confidence (with women, with his place in the world, with Batman). [p. 10, 19]
- Aliki and Margot enjoy watching Nightwing move, and they choose their crimes at least partly based on which might attract Nightwing to come after them. [p. 1, 6f] They also flirt with Azrael. [p. 10] Neither Nightwing nor Azrael are particularly enamored with Double Dare though.
- Double Dare's dialog in French on page 7 is in English:
Margot: It's not about that. I thought he was in Blüdhaven.
Aliki: Ah! What a story!
Margot: Aliki, don't you have any shame?
Aliki: No, but you--
Margot: Wait! He starts to worry!
- In the French dialog on page 10/11 Double Dare ask Azrael first to reveal his identity, then press him for Nightwing's name and address. The (approximate) English translation is:
Azrael: My name is Azrael.
Margot: Ah! You are French.
Azrael: No, but I speak a little--
Aliki: Where are you from?!
Margot: Since when are you living in Gotham?
Azrael: Uh...I'm afraid I can't answer you --
Aliki: Ah! My name is Aliki, and this is my sister Margot!
Nightwing (low, in English). Well, this is fun...
Margot: Ah, do you know where he lives?
Aliki: What is his name?
Nightwing (shouting): Hey! Do you have fun?
Double Dare and Azrael are all surprised , as an increasingly aggravated Nightwing reveals that he understands them.
- Nightwing uses his motorcycle (btw, its hub caps show the Batsymbol).